(see large image)

cfadVertical Structure of storms

Another application of the TRMM precipitation feature database is to study the regional variations of vertical structures of precipitation features. Focusing on the precipitation systems with strong convection indicated by the presence of at least one 40 dBZ echo and a minimum size of 1000 km^2, the Contoured Frequency by Altitude Diagrams (CFADs, Yuter and Houze 1995) of maximum reflectivity profiles show that there are significant differences between the vertical structures of convection over land and ocean (left figure):

Land convection has larger maximum reflectivity values than oceanic convection at the freezing level (4-5 km). Then the land convection maximum reflectivity values decrease more slowly than oceanic convection above the freezing level, while reaching higher altitudes. Half of the land (ocean) convection has maximum reflectivity values > 20 dBZ at 11.5 km (10 km). From 2 km to the freezing level near 5 km, the maximum reflectivity of land convection increases with altitude, but that of the oceanic RPPFs decreases with altitude.

To investigate seasonal and regional differences in the vertical structure of convective systems, we have selected 9 years of precipitation systems with 40 dBZ and 1000 km^2 in size observed by TRMM. The CFADs of maximum reflectivity profiles of these systems (categorized by size) are analyzed over 10x10 degree boxes in 35S-35N. The details can be accessed through the links below.


CFADs of maximum PR reflectivity profiles of TRMM precipitation features with 40 dBZ


Please choose the categories of the precipitation systems from below:

Size DJF MAM JJA SON
75 - 150 km^2 land_DJF_75_150 land_MAM_75_150 land_JJA_75_150 land_SON_75_150
150 - 750 km^2 land_DJF_150_750 land_MAM_150_750 land_JJA_150_750 land_SON_150_750
750 - 2000 km^2 land_DJF_750_2000 land_MAM_750_2000 land_JJA_750_2000 land_SON_750_2000
> 2000 km^2 land_DJF_ge_2000 land_MAM_ge_2000 land_JJA_ge_2000 land_SON_ge_2000

Size DJF MAM JJA SON
75 - 150 km^2 ocean_DJF_75_150 ocean_MAM_75_150 ocean_JJA_75_150 ocean_SON_75_150
150 - 750 km^2 ocean_DJF_150_750 ocean_MAM_150_750 ocean_JJA_150_750 ocean_SON_150_750
750 - 2000 km^2 ocean_DJF_750_2000 ocean_MAM_750_2000 ocean_JJA_750_2000 ocean_SON_750_2000
> 2000 km^2 ocean_DJF_ge_2000 ocean_MAM_ge_2000 ocean_JJA_ge_2000 ocean_SON_ge_2000

 

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